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New Release Review! HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER by Tessa Bailey (Bellinger Sisters #2)

Hook, Line, and Sinker cover

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

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Is it wrong to wish there were more Bellinger sisters?

OMG, this book–I mean, I loved Piper’s story (It Happened One Summer”>It Happened One Summer), but Hannah and Fox? Blew. Me. Away. Their characters are both so much more complex than they seemed at first–and goodness, was I ever here for it!

Fox has a reputation as a ladies’ man, and even his best friend and boss thinks he and Hannah are a bad idea, because everyone knows he’s just not a “relationship” kind of guy. But he’s felt a connection to the younger Bellinger sister since she first came to town months before. That connection is changing him–and no one who sees him from day to day has noticed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, when we find out the reasons behind his reputation? They. Are. Heartbreaking. And aren’t going to be easy for him to get past…

Hannah has felt like a supporting character all of her life–in both her family and her job. She’s been OK with it for the most part, but she’s starting to feel like she might want to dip her toes into the leading lady pool, at least at work…she just has to psyche herself up into asking her boss/current crush (yeah, it’s not ideal) for a chance. Fox is 100% behind her efforts, though, and his support might be just what she needs to give her the guts to go for it. Even if it means that she’ll definitely go back to LA when this job is done–there’s not much of a market for movie music coordinators in Westport…

It was so much fun watching these two crazy kids go from friends to so much more. I loved the text exchanges between Hannah and Fox, and Hannah’s habit of thinking of the perfect song to go with every situation added an extra layer of awesome. As in Piper’s book, there were quite a few LOL moments–and more than one that made me tear up (especially Fox’s conversation with his mother near the end–OMG, it killed me!). And of course it’s a Tessa Bailey book, so there’s a fair amount of hot, hot, hot scenes too!

You don’t have to have read Piper’s story to enjoy this one, but honestly I think you’ll get a better understanding of how and why the Bellinger sisters came to Westport in the first place if you do. Things that happened in book 1 are referenced here, but it’s not the same as seeing them for yourself. Plus, Piper and Brendan’s story is just awesome–it inspired me to (finally! I know, I know…) start watching Schitt’s Creek ; if you’re a fan of that show you’ll likely also appreciate Ms Bailey’s homage to it.

I’m sorry to see this series come to an end–but knowing that that means Ms Bailey is now free to start a brand new series is definitely a consolation! 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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